Pompey pair Smith and Lethbridge set to return to Bognor line-up

Dan Smith is fit again and set to return to the Bognor line-up / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Dan Smith is fit again and set to return to the Bognor line-up / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Bognor boss Jack Pearce has moved to add firepower to his frontline by extending the loans of dynamic strikers Brad Lethbridge and Dan Smith from Pompey. Both go into the squad to face Wingate & Finchley in the Bostik Premier League at Nyewood Lane on Saturday.

Pearce hopes the additional goal threat will bring relief to his injury-ravaged outfit following the 1-0 reverse at home to Corinthian Casuals on Tuesday.

Lethbridge was missing from the side that suffered only their second league defeat of the season after being called up by Fratton Park manager Kenny Jacket. The young forward, 17, played in a 3-2 win over Tottenham in the Checkatrade Trophy and earned some rave reviews for his performance. Now he is back in the Bognor ranks for tomorrow's match, along with Smith, 19.

The latter has been sidelined through injury but is fit again and his return is timely for Pearce and No2 Robbie Blake. And Pearce said: "There is no question that both Brad and Dan offer us options going forward and if you saw our approach play on Tuesday in the loss to Corinthian Casuals, you could see we created many chances. Unfortunately, on the night we were unable to cover those chances and inconceivably ended up losing the match.

"But our task is to go again and we remain focused on doing just that. Brad and Dan joining us for an extended loan period does offer us options in the final third. Once again, we are grateful to Pompey, who have shown great faith in our ability to help develop their young talent."

These are not just missed chances - they are missed sitters
Robbie Blake on Rocks v Corinthian Casuals
Meanwhile, the club will pay their respects to a devoted supporter who passed away recently by honouring his memory for the Wingate & Finchley game, naming it as the Bill Spriggs Day. Rocks secretary Simon Cook explained: "Bill was a much-loved supporter of many years and his cheery personality won him many, many friends at the club and beyond. We will hold a minute's silence before the game in his memory on a day when members of Bill's family will be our guests.”